Ken Kaufman

Rhody Family Funeral Home

Kenneth Elroy was born Tuesday, February 6, 1934 in Sullivan Township to William Henry and Matilda (Strucke) Kaufman. He was the eldest of four; Marlene was born February 8, 1937, Janelda on May 17, 1938 and Elaine October 13, 1949. The family farmed just east of Scone and the children went to school at S.S. #9 Sullivan. As with most children of the time, formal education went only as far as grade eight, if one was lucky. Part of Ken’s education also included confirmation classes. He was confirmed at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Chesley by The Rev. Baetz in 1949.

Once Ken was out of school he worked at Krug’s for a bit and then went to work at Rier’s in Chesley. There he stayed for the rest of his career which spanned thirty-eight years. A newspaper picture and caption highlights Ken as service manager at Rier’s. He was being honoured for twenty years of top performance in the General Motors Technicians Guild. The award acknowledged that Ken had completed ten exams in each of the twenty years with a mark of more than eighty in each exam. Ken had been presented a gold watch which he wore until the day he died as well as a certificate and plaque. Over the years he worked his way through the ranks eventually retiring as head mechanic. The following notice was also placed in the local paper for Ken’s sixtieth by Rier’s. The advert also consisted of the cutest baby picture ever! Ken officially retired in 1994.

Who’s turning sixty
On Sunday, February 6th?
Now here’s a clue,
Your car he can fix with glue.
Rumour has it he may someday retire,
So drop by and say “Hi!” at Rier’s.

In the late 1950s Ken married Joan Marie McDonald. The newlyweds rented for a while in Chesley before buying a home on Fifth Street South East. Together they had, and raised, two children, Janice Lynn was born July 8, 1961 and Ronald Kenneth September 15, 1965. During their youth, the kids spoke of sweet stories of family time spent in Grandpa’s bush collecting maple syrup. Unfortunately, in 1992, Joan and Ken separated and then later divorced. In the years that followed Ken met and married Pat Taylor. Divorced again, Ken then came to meet Barbara Murdoch. The year was 2004. Together they shared their life together at their home on Mulock Road.

To know Ken is to know his gift of music. He loved to play the guitar and sang in three different bands over the years, Classic Country, Rainbow Country and Country Sounds. He enjoyed spending time and performing with all his bandmates. Many evenings were spent playing at the Durham, Hanover and Owen Sound Legions, house parties, steam shows, Chesley Fair, Club 86 in Listowel and a variety of other venues. He was an incredible entertainer! Ken’s own taste in music included, big surprise… country music and Janice remembers a lot of Charley Pride playing during her childhood. Apparently, Ken liked anything but Garth Brooks! His love and talent for music were passed down to his children and even grandchildren. Both Jason and Laura, especially, love to play guitar. A great picture portrays his entire family, at Janice’s wedding to Al, posed with guitars!

In addition to his music-making, Ken loved to curl and was a member of the Chesley Curling Club for a number of years. When he could no longer play he loved to watch the sport on TV. While working at Rier’s Ken also took a correspondence course, learning the fine art of fixing electronics – TV and car radios in particular. This hobby, of course, led Ken to be a collector of sorts. He gathered together parts for the radios and TVs he fixed. Whatever Ken turned his hand to Ken could do. In addition, Ken also collected guitars and the occasional gun too!

Deer hunting was yet another passion for Ken. Many, many pictures depict his hunting gang, including brother-in-law Maurice Byers, and their ‘spoils of war’ from Sullivan Township bushes. He loved his pets, dogs and cats both, and they were always welcomed indoors, even the strays he picked up. Ken’s preference was for the larger dog breeds (not the yappy little breeds – hee, hee) and he loved Barb’s Manx cat! Spending time in the backyard off Mulock Road was also enjoyable. One day, in particular, forty-three airplanes were counted in the sky! Imagine!

Ken was clever and exceedingly bright and he loved to do Sudoku puzzles. While he worked on these Barb would often complete crossword puzzles. Denim was Ken’s favourite colour as he was forever in blue jeans! In addition to watching curling on TV he also loved to watch nature shows and shows depicting rough and tumble frontier living, like Alaskan Frontier. He also enjoyed reading the newspaper, particularly the Owen Sound Sun Times amidst others.

Playing cards, primarily solo, with the men was a great pastime, while Janice was still a child. While he loved to do this, Barb enjoyed a bible study with women. (They were just too cute!) Ken never lost his love of the land and enjoyed time spent outdoors. However, it was not always just hunting. Ken loved to work in his vegetable garden! He was a very helpful man always willing to do what he could for others.

Ken suffered from a stroke in 2018 that greatly affected his lifestyle. Although he recovered, life would never be the same. He and Barb continued to make the best of every day, enjoying each other’s company. Sadly, Ken suffered another severe stroke on Wednesday, April 24 and passed away at Grey Bruce Health Services, Owen Sound on Thursday, April 25, 2019 in his 86th year.

Loving father of Janice (Al) Rapp of Walkerton and Ron of Grey County. He will be remembered by his grandchildren, Jason Hamel, Laura Hamel, Katelyn Kaufman, Christina Kaufman as well as four great-grandchildren. Loving partner and friend of Barb Murdoch of R.R. #3 Hanover. Ken will be missed by Barb’s son Rob, daughter Cathy and grandson Chad; sisters Janelda (Harold) Lipskie of Simcoe, Elaine (John) Shantz of R.R. #4 Ripley and brother-in-law Maurice Byers of Chesley. He was predeceased by his sister Marlene Byers and his parents William and Matilda (Strucke) Kaufman.

Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Sunday from 7 - 9 p.m. where a funeral service honouring Ken’s life will be held on Monday, April 29, 2019 at 1 p.m. Interment in Chesley Cemetery.

Memorial donations to the Heart & Stroke Foundation would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.

Send to friend
Norma and Steve Schank
April 28, 2019
Janice, Ron and family.

May care and love of those around you provide comfort and peace to get you through the days ahead. Our most sincere condolences.
Irene Driedger
April 28, 2019
Janice, and Ron and families, I would like to send my sincere condolences. Ken was a wonderful neighbour. I often arrived home from work on a stormy snowy day to find my driveway had been blown open for me, and he would never take a penny for it. He was always friendly and kind, and truly a good man.
Pam & Robert Bell
April 28, 2019
Janice, Ron & families...please accept our deepest sympathies for the loss of your Dad.
Ken was one of my weekly regulars at the Credit union.
May you find peace in happy memories...
Joni Lang
April 27, 2019
Janice, Ron and families, my deepest sympathy to you all! I remember fondly, as neighbours and friends the many wonderful times we shared. Thinking of you all at this sad time. ❤️

Joni (Bell) Lang
Randy and Trish
April 27, 2019
Janice and family, were so sorry for your loss.
Dan and Tracy Subject
April 26, 2019
Janice, Ron and families. so sorry to hear of your dad's passing. our condolences.
Beatrice Sacks (Bell)
April 26, 2019
I went to public school with Ken and thought about him many times in m,y life. I know he will be missed.
Dwayne and Susan Loughlean
April 26, 2019
Our sincere condolences Red, Janice and families.
Dave & Brenda Hamel
April 26, 2019
Janice, so sorry for your loss
Abby Bolton
April 26, 2019
Thinking of you at this sad time.
Cathy (Martin)and John Stinson
April 26, 2019
Janice, Ron and families
We would like to send our sincere condolences to you all at this time....
John talks often about the hunting group that his Dad and your Dad were apart of ..... fond memories.
Theresa Stade
April 26, 2019
Ron and family I was sorry to hear the news! Thoughts and prayers to you all. So sorry
Terry Lawson
April 26, 2019
Condolences to the family.

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Because of COVID-19 we had to do the complete service from home via D.V.D. GREAT!

William Hall

I was amazed that I could smell KFC fries when I first walked in at the visitation. That was so lovely. My husband would have loved it. Thank you again for that! 

Sheila Jacobs

[I] have already told many people what an amazing job you did. My entire family and friends couldn’t agree more! Everything was totally looked after. Things I never would have thought of were either done or brought to my attention. Thank you so much for everything you did. It made a really rough time a little easier to handle. Thank you!

Dianne Veen

“One of a kind” service as well as ongoing support! Beyond [our expectations] and Thank You.

Carol Vallie

I received comments on how informative and interesting the life story was. I know how amazing you are!!! I never stop bragging about you !!!

Lynn Jackson & Family

Nathan and his staff are kind, compassionate and gentle as they guide you through the process of celebrating the life of your loved one. My family has worked with Rhody Funeral Home five times now and each time they have went above and beyond to support us and to honour our loved ones. We will be forever grateful for the professional yet personal way they approach funeral planning. Their sincere empathy and passion for helping families during this difficult time of life is a gift.

Sarah Rogers

It was 100%. I got many comments on how things were handled.

Eugene Perkins

Nothing could have been done to better improve my experience. Nathan, I was more than pleased with everything. Thank you.

Morris Galbraith

I found yourselves very helpful and can’t think of anything negative in our experience with yourselves. We were satisfied [nothing could have been done to better serve us, including] also the travel to Tapleytown (Hamilton) at a low cost where the burial took place.

David Kuiper

Everything was perfect. We had many comments on the service and the little personal touches – that makes it special. Keep up the personal touches!!!

Janice Rapp

Nothing comes to my mind as to what you could have done to improve our experience. My whole family was so pleased, as was I, with every detail. All of the details were so well presented and the full staff were so helpful. In terms of pricing, we received what we asked for ten-fold. Every aspect of Jim’s funeral was so well presented and we would certainly pass this on to others. 

Karen Siegrist

There was nothing that could have been improved. (Except the weather!) The prices were reasonable, especially with the services provided. Thank you so very much. With such a large family, everyone was very pleased on professionalism and presentation.

Terrilea Fidler

I don’t think there is anything more you could have done. Everything was so professionally done, in our experience. I don’t know any place that goes the extra mile to help families accommodate their needs. Nothing could have been improved. We could not have been more satisfied.

Reta Steward

It felt as if you had met and knew John! All of us agreed that John would have approved. Many friends commented on how lovely the service was and how it suited John.

Cathie Stauffer

I really can’t think of anything you could have done to better improve our experience. The only other funeral that I helped arrange was for my father, and at that time I didn’t get the same sense of professionalism or sympathy. Nathan was willing to accept our suggestions, and also to “take the lead” in showing us the next step and what was expected, even to putting details of the funeral into my computer!

Martie Dorland

You did a wonderful job from start to finish. I can’t think of anything you need to improve on. Great job! Helping us to wade through the government forms was great! Saved us a lot of anxiety. We will definitely recommend your funeral home. Wonderful service with kind and caring staff. 

Carol Ryan

I don’t see how you can improve exceptional services. Whatever was necessary on your part to provide was done without question. You eliminated much paperwork and guided us through a painful process with empathy and professionalism. 

Donna Jones-Baldwin

I feel the professional quality of services my family received was second to none.

Kim Moylan

Nathan, I can’t tell you how much your care and support has meant to my whole family. You obviously take great pride in the service you provide. I can’t think of anything you could have done to help us more. You, your mom and Terri-Ann make an excellent team. I had so many compliments on the set up and the service. I sing your praises to everyone who asks. Keep up the fantastic work.

Ruth Stephen and family

It was exceptional how Nathan opened our hearts and minds to give info; then transferred into so many ‘on target’ ways. Also very comforting and understanding to us all. Many comments, impressed, liked all that was done, respectful family-like atmosphere at all times. Especially kind to young members of family as well. Above and totally beyond expectation – Thanks.

Mary Harrison

What one thing could we have done better to improve your experience?
Nothing, we were very happy with services and support provided to our family. Well done. We really appreciated everything that was done for us and how well it was done.

Don MacDermid

Overall I am extremely pleased. Your kind, caring and professional services went above what I expected. All our needs were met satisfactorily and more.

Barbara Aikens

Everything was done so professionally that I don’t think anything else could have been done.

Joy Pitman

You go above and beyond with your services and expertise and compassion.

Judy Charlton

You have succeeded in taking the sadness out of a funeral and made it into a celebration of life and remembrance, which we truly appreciated... Continue doing what you did for us. It was exceptional in every regard.

Marlowe Emke

Our law office often has had many estates involving families who have obtained funeral services from Nathan. He is regarded by my staff and myself as outstanding for his professional, pleasant, and efficient manner. We would highly recommend Rhody Family Funeral Home to anyone.

Ross McLean, McLean Lawyers

Dear Nathan, I cannot say thank you enough for everything you and the rest of the Rhody Family Funeral Home team done for our family with Mom's passing. From the moment you got to Mom's house your professionalism was second to none. You listened and read between the lines yet missed nothing, every little touch was simply perfect, you left nothing undone, your care and compassion to ensure our family made Mom proud one more time, and for that I am forever grateful. You took a very difficult time for us and made it as simple and stress free for us as humanly possible. Nathan you should be very proud of yourself and the rest of your team. You have definitely set the bar very high for any other funeral home in the province to follow. Again thank you

Sincerely, Deb and Doug

Nathan: Thank you so very much for all that you have done for my Mom and my family. Your friendship during this difficult time was truly heartfelt. You made us feel welcome and like a part of your family. The whole time we spoke both at the nursing home and then at your place was a very peaceful experience. Not once were we made to feel like we did not belong there. Your attention to detail in everything that all of us said shows in the story of my Dad’s life and the video. Where there were concerns, you set them all at ease. I so appreciate all that you did for my Mom in helping her take care of cancellations and notifications for my Dad. It set her mind at ease knowing that you were taking care of all of this for her. It set me at ease knowing that she would not have to deal with the frustrations that sometimes come in taking care of these things. You and your family have gone above and beyond in all that you have done for us and I am truly thankful. The warmth and caring went home with us that day. We knew that the right choice had been made in allowing you to take care of my Dad. Again, thank you.


Your services are respectful, accomodating and very professional. An excellent job done. Thank you.

Darren Goodayle

Our aunt & uncle were buried from a different funeral home and we noticed a huge difference in the funeral home services provided. Our mom and dad looked so natural (thank you!) while our aunt and uncle did not. Thank you Nathan, we can't begin to tell you how much we appreciate you and your staff this year!

Ann Legge, Patricia Tibbo & Jane Lembke

All the worlds a stage and all the men and women merely players." Rhody Family Funeral Home takes this and runs with it in an intricate and tasteful manner. The beautiful funeral home sets the stage to reflect the deceased's individual personality. Nathan's artistic ability is only surpassed by his compassion, sincerity and understanding. He goes above and beyond the required duties. His staff is second to none. Darlene Rhody soft spoken and sympathetic and Morris Emke gentlemanly and obliging. Pastor Terri-Ann is like no other with her comforting words of wisdom and encouragement and so compassionate. Her service was nothing short of beautiful. A very heartfelt thank you to Nathan and his staff for making an unpleasant experience bearable. And hats off to Rhody Family funeral home for sending dad -Ross Hammond off in the fashion he deserved. From my mom and my siblings our sincerest gratitude.

Nancy Nickel

Personnel, facilities, advise & support all exceeded our expectations - it helped to communicate details by email. In particular, both Nathan and Terri-Ann did an excellent job! I was surpised at the after service documentation - all details well organized.

Larry Bell

Nathan and staff were kind and helpful throughout the process. They really went above and beyond to make the experience as positive as possible.

Amy Stephen

Everything was great - many great comments made about the story alone on Pearl's life and we sent copies to people who could not attend - a very nice addition.

Family of Pearl Stephen

Our experience was amazing under the circumstances. Your services were perfect. You went above and beyond our expectations. You are very caring, compassionate and professional in your approach. You create a very therapeutic environment.

Elmer Ward

"Dear Nathan, your many caring and creative touches from the notice to the burial in the days following Catharine's (McKeeman) passing meant so much to all of us. You honoured her life in so many meaningful ways. Your compassion and celebration of her life will always be remembered by all those Catharine held dear."

Ian Campbell, Catharine's Brother

“Nathan, you did an absolutely amazing job. People give us compliments about everything from the life story to the beautiful, elaborate displays at the visitation. I tell everyone it was you. All the surprises - the cookies, the recipe cards, the signing picture - all amazing!”

Kim and Alan Grant

“Staff were professional and friendly.”

“Exceptional service.”

Lawrence and Heather Lamarche

“Nathan, you present yourself very well. Facilities were all that could be expected.”

“I would recommend your funeral home to everyone. Nathan’s ability to put you at ease, with a caring attitude is super and very respectful!”

Carol Golem

“We were all very impressed.”

Roberta Godwin

“Dear Nathan - You did a good job. Thank-you for all your help and all the information you obtained for me."

Gloria Albright

“Your sense of humour was a plus! You and your staff clearly have a calling for the work that you do. We all felt that we were in good hands throughout the entire process…. Nathan, thank you for everything. You made things easy for us, as we felt like we were working on Dad’s arrangements with family. We gave Dad a great send off and thank you and your staff for being a part of it.”

Deborah Hart

“Letters cancelling Gov’t services was a great help and was very much appreciated.”

William & Loraine Patterson

“You did everything really well. All needs were met and then some.… We received positive comments on the stationary. Great keep sakes. The book and slideshow were beautiful.”

Elaine King

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Rebecca Becker

"I don't think there is anything more you or your staff could do."

Bernice Frook

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Susan Taylor

“I would not have changed anything. Thanks very much – Nathan and staff.”

“New renovations are very inviting and warm. All your new cards and books are very heart warming and keepsakes.”

Valerie Long

"Staff were outstanding. Overall, it was great. Everything was perfect."

Susan Laver

“Staff is exceptional!... All needs were met.”

“Service was beyond expectations… Already recommended to various people.”

Steve Thomson

“Could not have been more useful – very satisfied! I would highly recommend Rhody Family. Thank you ever so much for your professionalism and expertise.”

Dave Hillier

“Honestly, you and your staff made this time in my life the best it could be and were extremely helpful, respectful, professional and accommodating to my needs and my family’s needs, especially providing me with a space to feed [my child] if needed. Thank you for everything”

Olivia Strucke

“Everything was perfect; it’s always nice to have lots of options.”

Kevin Dailey

“Thank you for all your empathy, compassion and professionalism. Our family… is very grateful that we chose Rhody Family Funeral Home to look after our loved one.”

Siobhan Bell

“Your services were excellent. Thank you again.”

Debbie Eidt

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